Maxwell Technologies


Start Strong
Maxwell's Truck Starting E-Newsletter
Vol 1 Issue 4
In This Issue
- A Fleet Manager Experiences Elimination of Jump-Starts Using Maxwell’s ESM
- Q&A with Trucking Industry’s Kevin Rutherford of Let’s Truck Talk Radio, Part I
- Lightweighting with the Maxwell ESM
- Start Reliably and Reduce Idling this Winter
- Our Team Stands Ready: Unmatched 24/7 Technical Support
- Where Do I Buy the ESM?
A Fleet Manager Experiences Elimination of Jump-Starts Using Maxwell’s ESM
bill TurnerBill Turner is a busy man, rising at 4 a.m. to manage a fleet of 65 trucks and a team of drivers for Holroyd Company, based in Washington State. Most days he fields dispatch calls and resolves flat tires, hydraulic leaks, engine problems and sends mechanics out to jump-start trucks.

Long days of repetitive loads and offloads, which require the driver to make several starts and stops, would wear down the batteries of the fleet’s transfer trucks. After a few cycles of transfer work, Bill would get calls from drivers left stranded. The subzero temperature of the Pacific Northwest in the wintertime would also take its toll on the fleet’s truck batteries.

To overcome truck starting failures, Bill decided to install the Maxwell ULTRA 31/1800 Engine Start Module in six of his Kenworth T800s and W900s. Prior to installing the ESMs, the T800 dump trucks had been using three or four Group 31 batteries.

“I removed two or three batteries,” says Bill. “The trucks now have one ESM and one battery. That’s all we need!”

Bill noticed a difference in truck performance immediately. “I discovered that the ESM starts the truck without failure. You have to have these trucks ready to roll.”
Q&A with Trucking Industry’s Kevin Rutherford of Let’s Truck Talk Radio, Part I
Keving Rutherford

Kevin Rutherford broadcasts his Let’s Truck radio show on SiriusXM Channel 146 every night at midnight and weekends from 4-7 p.m. Eastern Time. He started his career as an owner operator 25 years ago. Today he is a business trainer and author, giving advice to fleets and owner operators on all aspects of the trucking business. Kevin spoke with Maxwell Technologies about how the Maxwell Engine Start Module is making a difference in the trucking industry. This issue features part one of the interview. Click here to listen to the full interview.

Maxwell: What are some of the most common uptime challenges faced by owner operators today?
KR: I think the biggest challenge we’ve faced as owner operators and small fleets is the complication of the vehicles themselves. I bought my first truck 30 years ago. There was virtually nothing on the truck I couldn’t work on myself. Over the years we have progressed from mechanical to a complicated mix of mechanical and electronic. The electronics are much more complicated for the average user. We progressed to the advanced emissions systems, advanced safety systems, and this just keeps piling more complexity onto the truck. That’s one of our challenges. The other challenge is that all of these advances are electronic and they put a huge burden on our electrical system. Keeping the electrical system functioning properly has been one of the biggest challenges we’ve seen.

Maxwell: One thing you’re passionate about is discovering new technologies that improve the trucking industry. Why did the Maxwell Engine Start Module capture your interest?
KR: A big part of it is the challenges we face and that trucks have become much more complicated electronically and we have huge hotel loads that are different. I was looking for anything better that could really help us on the side of the electrical system. The ESM is so radically different. It looks like a battery, but that’s where the similarity ends. As soon as I saw the technology and what it was designed to do, it clicked—this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I saw it and I knew that was an answer to our problem.

Maxwell: What have drivers told you about their experiences with using the Maxwell ESM on their trucks?
KR: I do a lot of research before we bring a product to market. This was no exception. I feel like we hit a home run with this one because everybody loves it. If 70% of the time something works well in the way we expect it to, that’s a good number. The Maxwell ESM is about 100%. People just love this product.

Maxwell: On your radio program, Let’s Truck, you educate drivers on how to improve their businesses. What would you say are the business advantages of using the Maxwell ESM for truck starting?
KR: The obvious one is the fact that you’re not going to wake up one morning on a tight schedule and hear that dreaded click click click when you turn the key, knowing that jump-starting a truck is not a quick, easy process. Think of some of the challenges. First of all, a truck has four large batteries. If you pull a car up next to a truck and try jump-starting it, you’re going to sit there a long time to build up enough power. The other challenge is it’s very possible you’re backed in tight between two other trucks and we can’t even get cables back to the batteries. Now we’re looking at a service call. The cost of not being able to get this truck started is one big factor. But there’s another big factor. You may have a load sitting on that trailer that is critical to the consignee. Somebody is waiting for that stuff and their business depends on it and now you’re going to be late because of a dead battery. The Maxwell ESM eliminates that. We don’t ever have to worry about the cost of paying for that service call, to have somebody come out and jump us. We’re not going to miss that delivery time.

Maxwell: How would you say the business benefits of the ESM can translate into savings for a fleet?
KR: Fleets may have many drivers who aren’t mechanically inclined at all. Thirty years ago when I got started, almost everybody who wanted to drive a truck had some mechanical background. Today, though, that’s not common at all. We see lots of people coming into trucking who are not able to monitor battery voltage, battery life, or load test the batteries. They’re kind of in the dark. And all they know is they go to turn the key one day, and the truck won’t start. Fleets have very little control over that problem because the truck is gone for weeks or months at a time. Under the current situation, we throw four batteries in and we expect those batteries to do all kinds of things. They have to run electrical equipment. We want to put hotel loads on them while we’re sitting parked. And then after being parked in who knows what kind of weather and for how long, we also want the batteries to start the truck. And many times, when it comes time to start the truck, there’s nothing left. With the Maxwell ESM that just doesn’t happen. The ESM is a dedicated module that is there to do one thing, and that’s start the truck. That is a huge advantage to a fleet that has multiple trucks and multiple drivers.
Lightweighting with the Maxwell ESM
In the March 2015 edition of HDT Truckinginfo, an article titled “12 Ideas for Lightweighting Your Trucks” makes these points about the challenge of heavier trucks and loads:
  • Diesel-powered trucks and tractors have gotten hundreds of pounds heavier in the last decade or so because of pollution-control equipment and bigger radiators. Paring tare weight can help make up for it.
  • A lighter vehicle costs a bit less to propel down the road, and more legal payload can be stacked, poured or piled aboard its body or in the trailer.
  • How many batteries does the engine really need to crank it over? Will three or even two high-capacity batteries work instead of the traditional four? Maybe, especially with a smaller diesel. But remember that fewer batteries mean the charging system must work well all the time. Ask suppliers and colleagues.
Customer photo: A fleet owner removed two lead-acid batteries and replaced them with one Maxwell ESM in 900 ready-mix concrete trucks. He also switched to a deep cycle battery. Now, his battery provides ample energy to run all accessories when the engine is off. He reduced truck weight, fuel usage and battery replacement costs. He says he got a “threefer” with the ESM, and it’s his latest new secret weapon that gives him a built-in cost advantage over his competition.

In addition to saving money by increased uptime resulting from the elimination of jump-starts, the ESM saves fuel costs by reducing idling and lowering tare weight. The latter can also allow a heavier load to be carried, resulting in greater revenue per load. Installing the ESM means that (when the batteries next need replacement) the number of batteries to be replaced will be one fewer, resulting in lower battery replacement cost. Some fleets are able to replace two batteries with the ESM thereby lowering future battery replacement costs even further.
Start Reliably and Reduce Idling this Winter
TruckExtreme cold is a battery’s enemy. Drivers know that once the winter arrives, truck batteries lose their cranking power. Many times, drivers idle their trucks to avoid needing a jump-start because drained batteries can’t crank over the engine. This winter, start reliably and reduce idling by retrofitting trucks with the Maxwell ESM ultracapacitor starting system. The retrofit is as simple as removing one lead-acid battery and replacing it with an ESM, which completely takes over the starting function. Here’s what you need to know when considering retrofitting your trucks for reliable winter starting.

Batteries for hotel loads, ultracapacitors for starting
Batteries and ultracapacitors are different technologies, each valuable for different reasons. Batteries are excellent for hotel loads, powering the engine control unit and onboard electronics. When it comes to providing reliable cranking power for truck starting, the Maxwell ESM ultracapacitor reigns.

ChartUltracapacitors are power storage devices that reduce idling time and effectively eliminate the need for jump-starts. That’s because, unlike batteries, they allow drivers to repeatedly switch the truck off and back on in extreme cold temperatures. The ESM is designed to deliver consistent power as the temperature drops. It provides high cranking current all the way down to –40°C. In contrast, a battery’s cranking current drops significantly at –10°C, –20°C and –30°C. (see chart). Lead-acid battery technology is unable to deliver high-cranking current at colder temperatures.

If you want to take your trucks to the next level of business efficiency, use the batteries for accessories and hotel loads, and the ultracapacitor-based ESM for starting.

The difference is in the guts of the technology
Unlike batteries, ultracapacitors contain no lead or acid. Lead-acid batteries depend on a chemical reaction to function, and the chemicals are susceptible to extreme cold (and hot) temperatures. The ESM ultracapacitor is tolerant of much colder temperatures since its energy is stored electrostatically—the insides of the ultracapacitor can withstand temperatures down to –40°F.

Taking cranks to hundreds of thousands
The electrostatic design of the ESM’s ultracapacitors is the reason behind the ESM’s ability to perform hundreds of thousands of cranking cycles, versus only thousands of cranking cycles that come from a battery.

The ESM by Maxwell has gained traction as a competitive starting technology as fleet managers search for ways to handle reliable starting in the winter, stricter anti-idling regulations, the pressure of demanding delivery schedules, and increasing fuel and maintenance costs. Ultracapacitors are a perfect complement to batteries, filling the need for reliable starting power and resilience in cold weather where batteries most times fall short.
Our Team Stands Ready: Unmatched 24/7 Technical Support

In today’s technology markets, choices are overwhelming to say the least. At Maxwell, our gratification comes from providing you with worry-free ownership of your new ESM. When you purchase the ESM, it’s not just another sale. We stand by you on a round-the-clock basis.

We offer direct on-site training and installation expertise as well as 24/7 phone support on our Technical Support Line. There isn’t anything more irritating than calling for help when experiencing a crisis and getting trapped in the maze of “Press 1...4” before finally being put into a queue only to wait around while listening to elevator music. At Maxwell, we don’t abandon you by limiting our availability to weekday business hours. We don’t transfer your call to someone who has never seen an ESM or a truck. Our team of experts answers your call on your schedule.

Any day, any time, for your uptime
We do not use “Priority Levels” when it comes to customer support. Everyone is Priority One. When you call us, you can expect us to get right to your situation. It doesn’t matter what your knowledge-level of electrical systems may be. We take the time to understand your problem and walk you through step-by-step diagnostics. We are able to resolve most customer calls within 15 minutes. From time to time, however, we are unable to solve issues over the phone. This is not a reason for us to stop or to assume something else is causing the problem. Our team will work diligently to meet you some place suitable to your schedule so we can directly see, understand and correct the cause of the problem. You can depend on us to get you back to worry-free ownership of your ESM. This is our level of customer commitment, and it is unmatched in this industry. As soon as you receive your new ESM, be sure to write down this number: +1 (888) 890-3337. Or better yet, enter it in your mobile phone and you’ll gain peace-of-mind knowing our unmatched customer support is just a phone call away.
Where Do I Buy the ESM?
To locate a Maxwell ESM distributor near you, visit our “Where to Buy” page and enter your city or zip code. Or, you can give us a call or shoot us an email at (877) 511- 4324 or We look forward to serving you.

Where to buy
How to Contact Us:
Sales Support: (877) 511-4324
Technical/Warranty Support: (888) 890-3337
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